Jeff and I have been talking and brainstorming a lot lately. About our future. About what makes each of us happy. About what we need to do so we don’t look back at our lives when we’re 60/70/80 and think we settled for the easy road, just to coast through our lives.
We’ve started talking about Jeff taking his skills in carpentry seriously, and going out on his own. Designing and building stuff. Creating. It’s exciting, and it’s scary. We also go around and around trying to figure out our first steps: he needs to start building and making stuff to get to a point where he can quit his job and let go of a steady income for our family. But he needs time to build and create things. Time is a tricky devil.
So that’s one thing we’ve been talking about.
The other thing we’ve been talking about is a life goal for both of us, and our little family. Jeff and I have loved the opportunities we’ve had to work together-and how awesome it would be to work towards a goal that would lead us to both work together and have more flexible time for our family. Given our various talents (him: carpentry, building, creating, photography; her: officiating, coordinating), we’re thinking it would be awesome to build a wedding/event venue that we can run. We can offer package deals that include all our services, or people can chose a package that gives them flexibility in choosing their own vendors. We’d build something with all of our favorite things we’ve seen from various places, we’d build a photographer’s dream location, taking lighting and backgrounds into consideration.
Going from the conceptual to the realistic is where I start freaking out. Permits. Loans. Risk. Licenses. Taxes. Instability. Moving?! Location, location, location. There aren’t too many areas local to us that offer property, and definitely not at reasonable prices. The idea of moving somewhere, even if it’s just an hour away, is daunting. We’ve put so much into our little home, and I’m really loving it. I love our neighbors. I love having our parents so close.
There’s also this thing called “student loans.” I know it was my decision to go to law school, and my decision not to work in a career that allows me to pay off those loans. So I’ll start by saying that I know it’s on me. Without going into a career that makes six figures, one option is to work at a non-profit or government institution for 10 years to have the remainder of my loans forgiven. I’ve always wanted to do non-profit work, so it always seemed like a perfect option for me. But here I am, only four years in, and I’m starting to feel a little trapped by my lack of options if I want to stay on this loan forgiveness plan.
I feel like things have usually been easy for me. And it’s all relative, of course, but I don’t feel like I’ve every had to work HARD for stuff. Studying was easy for me, so I coasted through school-I never REALLY tried. If I applied myself in college, I could have gotten better grades and graduated with honors, but I was happy to just do “well” with my minimal effort. I know I’ve been fortunate and blessed with everything in my life: I happened to meet an amazing human being at work, that became my husband and father to my children. I didn’t have to go on endless dates. He just showed up! We were able to purchase a home because of an incredibly generous family member; there is NO WAY we would have been able to buy a home in Orange County (or in most places, actually) without help. Our home was the first and only home we looked at. I have two beautiful children-each of them with healthy and as-easy-as-they-get pregnancies and deliveries. I don’t take these things for granted.
I don’t say this to gloat or ask for a streak of bad luck-only to say that I’m not used to working hard for things (that sounds like such a douchey thing to say-so my apologies). Diving into something that I know will require a ton of work, dedication, and sacrifice, is scary. It’s taken so long for Jeff and I to get to a point where we’re financially stable: we can pay our bills every month and even splurge a little on family pizza nights. It’s terrifying to consciously put us in a situation where we can go back to not knowing if our ATM card will get declined when we’re buying groceries.
But as Jeff and I talk…it’s obvious that this shouldn’t keep us from trying. We’ll never know if we don’t try. And I DON’T want to look back on my life and realize that I settled for an easy life. I came across a blog yesterday that seemed oddly well timed: “The big break is the moment you decide to take your dream seriously.”
So. We’re putting our dream out into the universe. We are going to take it seriously, and work towards it knowing that it can be our reality. It won’t happen over night, but hopefully we’ll figure out a plan to get to where we’re going!